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Cobbers off to NCAA tourney

The Concordia women's soccer team lined up for a postgame team photo with smiles on their faces and index fingers flying high in the air. The Cobbers are headed back to the NCAA tournament. Concordia defeated St. Ben's 2-0 in the Minnesota Interc...

Britt Reiersgord

The Concordia women's soccer team lined up for a postgame team photo with smiles on their faces and index fingers flying high in the air.

The Cobbers are headed back to the NCAA tournament.

Concordia defeated St. Ben's 2-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament final Saturday at Jake Christiansen Athletic Complex to earn its second consecutive automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tourney.

The national tournament pairings are will be released at 10 p.m. today. The Blazers are expected to receive an at-large invitation.

"I think this shows everyone that Concordia is not just a one-time wonder," senior forward Rachel Lewis said. "The Cobbers are here to stay."

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Concordia, which lost to the Blazers 2-1 in the regular-season finale, appeared tentative to start the game.

Playing the role of aggressors, St. Ben's outshot the Cobbers 7-4 in a scoreless first half.

"Some of them didn't want to make a mistake," Concordia coach Dan Weiler said. "In the last game against St. Ben's we made a couple of mistakes, and that was the difference. I think both teams had to make adjustments."

Freshman Susan Obermiller put the Cobbers ahead 1-0 when she gathered a pass from Lewis and put the ball past Blazers goalkeeper Shannon Strohm in the 52nd minute.

Freshman Abby Habien made it 2-0 with a goal in the 56th minute.

"We just came together a lot once we settled down and played our game," Obermiller said. "This game was especially important because of the seniors. They worked hard for this ... Back-to-back is pretty cool."

Concordia goalkeeper Britt Reiersgord preserved the team's 10th shutout of the season with four saves in the final six minutes.

"She made two or three really key saves," Weiler said. "She had a rougher game against St. Ben's in the first game. She did all the easy things right."

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FIRST HALF: No scoring.

SECOND HALF: 1, CC, Obermiller (Lewis, Johnson) 52nd minute. 2, CC, Habein (Obermiller, Johnson) 56th minute.

SAVES: CSB, Strohm 4. CC, Reiersgord 9.

Concordia 2, St. Ben's 0

- The story: Cobbers earn second straight automatic berth to NCAA Division III tournament.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler's small college blog can be found at www.areavoices.com Cobbers off to NCAA tourney Heath Hotzler 20071104

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